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King Arthur (2004)

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A demystified take on the tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

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1,295 ( 28)
4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Pat Kinevane ...
Ivano Marescotti ...
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Storyline

Based on a more realistic portrayal of "Arthur" than has ever been presented onscreen. The film will focus on the history and politics of the period during which Arthur ruled -- when the Roman empire collapsed and skirmishes over power broke out in outlying countries -- as opposed to the mystical elements of the tale on which past Arthur films have focused. Written by Scott Summerton

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Rule Your Fate See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sequences of strong war violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

| |

Release Date:

7 July 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

King Arthur: Director's Cut  »

Box Office

Budget:

$120,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$15,193,907 (USA) (9 July 2004)

Gross:

$51,877,963 (USA) (8 October 2004)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| | | (5.1) (L-R)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although all of the crowd scenes and extras used fake swords, for all of the one-on-one encounters in the film (such as between Arthur (Clive Owen) and Cerdic (Stellan Skarsgård) or Lancelot (Ioan Gruffudd) and Cynric (Til Schweiger), real swords were used. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Arthur and his knights first encounter the Woads, they are trapped by entanglements of barbed wire. The extrusion technology necessary to produce wire was not available at the time. Barbed wire was developed on the American frontier in the 1860's - patented by Joseph Glidden in 1874. The barbed wire shown appears to be fibres entwined with thorns - a reasonable proposition for an early version. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lancelot: [voiceover] By 300 AD, the Roman Empire extended from Arabia to Britain. But they wanted more. More land. More peoples loyal and subservient to Rome. But no people so important as the powerful Sarmatians to the east. Thousands died on that field. And when the smoke cleared on the fourth day, the only Sarmatian soldiers left alive were members of the decimated but legendary cavalry. The Romans, impressed by their bravery and horsemanship, spared their lives. In exchange, these ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits, not even the production company and studio bumpers, only the title. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Getaway: Black Monday (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Tell Me Now (What You See)
Written by Hans Zimmer and Maire Brennan (as Moya Brennan)
Produced by Trevor Horn and Mel Wesson
Performed by Maire Brennan (as Moya Brennan)
Courtesy of Universal Music International
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
It's all about atmosphere
18 December 2004 | by (Faulconbridge, NSW Australia) – See all my reviews

Jerry Bruckheimer's KING ARTHUR is a shining example of that new breed of mythology adaption. It is similar to Wolfgang Petersen's TROY, in that it dispenses with the supernatural splendour and phantasmagorical intrigue characteristic of traditional tales, and presents the story as (relatively) realistic historical fiction, attempting to convey the "magic" of the story through drama, rather than gaudy special effects.

This is a brave venture by Bruckheimer - and director Fuqua- and they are to be commended for executing it with such style and creativity as is displayed in this film. It has, however, enjoyed somewhat limited success, due to the fact that it presents such a radical interpretation of a story much closer to our hearts than that of the Illiad.

I believe, though, that if the viewer simply opens one's mind and attempts to enjoy the story purely for the sake of itself (forgetting, for the moment, Rosemary Sutcliff and Barbara Leonie Picard), KING ARTHUR will reveal itself as a truly fine piece of film-making.

More than anything else, Fuqua masterfully portrays the atmosphere of the tale, endowing it with a sense of time and place far more eloquent than the rather run-of-the-mill dialogue. The entire experience oozes the ambiance of the early common era, from windswept downs and hills to rugged coasts and snow-cloaked mountains; from the spartan order of a Roman camp to the hellish confines of a torture chamber. Exemplars of this perfectly-presented atmosphere are Arthur's knights(Ioan Gruffud, Ray Winstone, Joel Edgerton, Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy and Ray Stevenson).These are not the chivalrous, couth, pious Christian knights your mum told you about, but rather a troop of barbaric, lecherous, pagan Sarmatian mercenaries. Together (with excellent performances all round, particularly by Winstone, Gruffud and Edgerton) they epitomise the pragmatic, godless, exquisitely human atmosphere of the period. As Gawaine tells a cowering Roman friar in an early scene - "Your God doesn't live here".

The lead actors, too, are outstanding, from Stellan Skarsgaard's sociopathic Cerdic, to the delicious Keira Knightley's dark and beautiful Guinevere. Only Clive Owen disappoints as Arthur himself, lacking the emotion this characterisation requires to supplement his steely resolve.

Despite the lukewarm reception to which it was subjected, KING ARTHUR is a finely crafted and memorable item of film-making. Forget all your preconceptions about King Arthur - just float with it, and let the rich atmosphere engulf you. 9/10.


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